After finding an enormous amount of success with Sugarland, Kristian Bush is bringing his voice to the forefront for the first time with his debut solo record Southern Gravity. Bush has teamed up with producer Tom Tapley, as well as executive producer Byron Gallimore to make a record that is groove heavy and radio friendly. Bush co-wrote all of the songs on the record (including his Top 20 single “Trailer Hitch”) which is an enjoyable listen that imparts an overall tone of positivity and happiness.
Listening to the album will put you in a summer state of mind as well as a very good mood. It’s laid back, beachy vibe is filled with easy to sing along to songs that are simply joyful. Bush’s vocals, which many will be hearing for the first time, fit the songs to a tee; whether he is singing about love (“You Light Me Up”), observations on everyday life (“Sending You A Sunset”) or a wish for his son (“Walk Tall”), his delivery is heartfelt and real….and he sounds like he is enjoying what he is singing.
The blissful and romantic “Make Another Memory” kicks off the record with “Giving It Up,” with its uber catchy melody, and “Waiting On An Angel,” (Kimberly Schlapman on harmonies) continuing the theme of romance with both focusing on finding contentment with that one special person.
Personal favorite “Sweet Love” has a roots rock/Americana flavor while the title track “Southern Gravity’s” stomping melody grounds you into recalling the place you call home.
The trio of “Feeling Fine California,” “Flip Flops,” and closing track “House On A Beach” will have you ready to retreat to someplace sandy. The first feels like the state with its sunny, relaxed vibe while “Flip Flops” tells the story of what happens when you may have been overserved, “even Jagger wishes he had the moves I got,” and the latter paints a lovely, serene picture of life that is the perfect way to close the album.
Turn it on, close your eyes and be transported to a sunny happy place. A welcome debut, Southern Gravity, is a laid back record filled with light and joy that will brighten your day.
Will Hoge continues his signature “rock and roll and country soul” with an insightful and affirmative look into small towns and dreams in his tenth full length record, Small Town Dreams. The album, produced by Marshall Altman, contains eleven tracks, including his current single “Middle of America,” that are well told, thoughtful stories, personal yet identifiable and brought to life by Hoge's signature vocals that paint pictures with believability and soul.
Things kick off with “Growing Up Around Here” in which he reflects upon where he grew up and makes the realization that typically only comes with age that it wasn’t such a bad place as his younger self might have thought. “I spent seventeen years trying to find a way out/Took a whole lot of miles to know what I know now/I’m kinda proud of growing up around here.”
The themes of small towns, adjusting dreams and finding happiness where you are permeate throughout numerous tracks. The whispered “1,2,3” and the gentle acoustic guitar strumming of “Little Bitty Dreams” is a moving celebration of love and family. The song reminds us that the dreams of youth may not work out the way you originally planned, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t work out the way they were supposed to…and for the better. “’Cause I met you and then I knew that my big dreams were done and I’d settle down in the same small town and swear you were the one/Some might call it giving up, but it don’t feel that way to me/I think it’s just the two of us and our little bitty dreams.”
Whether you’re just beginning as a couple, or have been together for years, the piano laced “Just Up The Road,” targets following those dreams with the one you love while filling the heart with a serenity. “Let’s chase these white lines ‘til we find that promise we’ve never known/Let’s take that fast lane all the way girl/Heavens just up the road……There’s place called forever and we can go there together/We both want something better.”
Rockin’ and edgy, “Guitar Or A Gun” explores a man’s first decision: something that will last forever or something that is for fun, although which one is which is difficult to discern. “One can feed family and one’ll end ya in jail and he seemed to know which one was which me I couldn’t tell.” “Desperate Times,” co-written with Adam Hood, is a swaggering Cajun flavored tune (hand claps!!) about living in times that may test us, but coming out stronger, a survivor. Things shift heavier emotionally in “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To,” an ode to his “solid as the gospel truth” father whom he wants to live up to and emulate. “As I get older I’m standing on your shoulders trying to be just like you/But they don’t make ‘em like they used to.”
The triad of “Better Than You,” “All I Want Is Us Tonight” and “The Last Thing I Needed” all center on relationships. The first focuses on dealing with the dissolution while the second, with it’s call and response in the vocals, is more about an immediate kind of love, being caught up in the moment and “making another memory we’ll never forget.” The third, (co-written with Chris Stapelton) bluesy and romantic, is about finding your beginning, your lover, and your best friend…even though she may have been “the last thing I needed.”
The album closes with the rollicking, sure to be crowd pleaser, “’Til I Do It Again.” Describing a Saturday night that often spills into Sunday; with good intentions not do to it again, he cant however avoid that “call of the whiskey and wine” that “make a fool of me every damn time.”
We’ll be waiting for him to do it again, in the meantime Hoge has given us a treasure of an album full of intelligent songs brimming with positivity, insight and soul.
"Superman" is the second single from Anjelia Pelay's upcoming EP The Heart Decides, which was recorded at WAX LTD Studios in Los Angeles with producer Brian Blake. "Superman" is a departure from Pelay's first single "Kiss My Ass," as it showcases a much softer side. The single is a mid-tempo tune about the dissolution of a relationship, remembering the early days when you dreamt of the future together, to growing apart, yet still keeping that person in your heart. Pelay's vocals have a thoughtful, sincere quality that along with the acoustic guitar, banjo and harmonies, convey a fondness for what was, yet a realization that one must move on.
"You were the one
And the only
My light when I fell
To my darkest place
Always saved me
How could I forget
It was good, it was great, now you're gone"
For more information visit her official website
"Superman" can be purchased in iTunes